Page last updated at 17:03 GMT, Monday, 20 October 2008 18:03 UK

World jobless 'to add 20 million'

Former workers of a Chinese firm that recently went bankrupt
There are growing signs of a global economic slowdown

The global financial crisis will add at least 20 million extra people to the world's unemployed, a study by a United Nations agency has predicted.

This will bring the total number of people without work to 210 million by the end of next year, said the International Labor Organization (ILO).

ILO Director-General Juan Somavia said the figures showed that governments had to focus on individuals not just banks.

He called for more efforts to help those affected cope with unemployment.

'Care about people'

"We thought it was not good to talk about the financial crisis exclusively in financial terms," said Mr Somavia.

"We have to talk about the financial crisis in terms of what happens to people and in terms of what happens to jobs and enterprises.

"If we have enough resources to pump into the financial system, this is not the moment to say, 'Yes, but we don't have the resources to care about people'".

Mr Somavia added that while governments were right to try to end the "credit paralysis" in the first instance, attention should now be expanded to helping firms maintain jobs.

In particular, he said governments should help small companies, since combined, these produced the most jobs.

Mr Somavia added that protecting people's pensions was also vital.

Returning to the global economy, he said the sectors that were likely to see the most job losses were construction, the housing market, financial services, the wider service sector, and carmakers.


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